An increase in factory lamb prices and the arrival of delayed ANC payments is adding more life to the sheep trade. Factory lambs are trading at €6.30/kg-€6.50/kg, with agents keen to attract higher numbers forward. Infrequent purchasing in some marts by live exporters is also helping.

A combination of ANC payments and forced housing of cattle is helping the store lamb trade, with short-keep lambs benefitting most. Prices range from €2.55/kg to €2.85/kg, but light hill lambs remain a very challenging trade. Demand for ewe hoggets and breeding rams is also benefitting, with mart managers expecting this to continue ahead of next week’s BISS payments.